What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

The Best Worst Idea Ever March 7, 2015

When I was little, my mother took my whole Girl Scout troop to a lodge every winter. For more background of that lodge and how it nearly killed me a few times, click here.

But this story is about how I almost got my sister killed. Love you, sis!

See we wanted to go sledding down the giant hill, but for some grownup reason, that just couldn’t be allowed this time.

There was a little hill out in front of the lodge, and all the adults said that was plenty big enough for sledding. We went down it a few times, but it was honestly anti-climactic. The adults went inside to do grownup things, and we tried to have fun with our terrible hill.

But then we realized that if we built a snow ramp at the bottom, we could fly into the air and land in the parking lot. This was clearly better than just meandering slowly down the hill on a sled. (more…)


Captain’s Log March 4, 2015

Filed under: What Doesn't Kill You — meganorussell @ 12:30 pm
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Captain’s log. Star date…I’m too cold to care.

I’ve been in this ice box called Upstate New York for two days now. After the first few hours, I managed to build a fire for warmth. But there is still no water.

I found a block of ice that had frozen a shoe to a pipe in the laundry room.


I had hoped that by ridding the ship of that ice, water would begin to flow. I was mistaken.

The crew’s morale has gone down with the inability to flush the toilet.

I have been trying to melt snow to dump down the contaminated commodes to make them flush.

It takes a strangely long time to melt snow next to a woodstove without melting the plastic buckets.

I have heard rumors of a professional coming to look at the pipes to find the issue. Perhaps the pump needs priming. Either way, we will need help from Starfleet Command before we can continue our mission.

We will press onward with our struggle to survive.


Short Stop March 2, 2015

Filed under: What Doesn't Kill You — meganorussell @ 8:30 pm
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When I was little, my mother was the leader of a Girl Scout troop. Every year between Christmas and New Year’s, she would rent out a Girl Scout lodge, and all the girls would go play in the snow in the woods and have all kinds of fun. We would play sardines and Risk, but my favorite part was the sledding. There was a giant hill near the lodge, and we would all tromp up to it and go sledding.

It was the best. The hill was long, steep and smooth with a ring of bushes at the bottom. No one ever made it all the way to the bushes. But it was nice that if you did make it that far, there wasn’t a cliff or a road waiting for you.

When I was probably about four, I wanted to go sledding with the big kids. I was too little to go down the hill by myself, so one of the older girls offered to take me down with her.

I was pumped! This was going to be the best thing ever!! Go me!!!

Me and the big kid got on the sled, and the group shoved us down the hill! We went so fast! The fastest anyone had gone ever! Nothing could stop us! (more…)


The Baby Out the Window February 28, 2015

Filed under: Starting Off Strange — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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I am on my way back up to the frozen north. And having spent the first part of winter in Florida, I am not looking forward to the snow. I mean, I want to look at it. I just don’t want it to touch me. Or seep into my boots.

I grew up in a valley settled between four mountain ranges. It’s a lovely place, but every once in a while, a storm will settle over the valley and pound us to death. When I was little, we had a really bad blizzard. The wind was so strong, it blew the snow up onto our covered, four-foot-high porch, so we couldn’t even open the door to get out of the house. We were surrounded by five feet of snow all around.

But my mother, refusing to be trapped in her own home by mother nature, told my sister and me that we were going to play a fun game. She wrapped us up in all our winter clothes and tossed us out the window into the snow. Then she tossed down shovels and called, “Shovel the door out! I’ll have cocoa waiting when you get in!” (more…)


Sledding in a Winter Wonderland… with Headstones November 13, 2013

Filed under: Starting Off Strange — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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I live in the country, so you would think we would have lots of options for places to sled. You would be wrong. My family owns three-and-a-bit acres, but there are so many trees it’s hard to walk, let alone sled. The fire department has a little hill behind it, but it runs right into the creek. So, if you go too far, you fall through the ice, but hey, at least you’re right behind the fire house so they can come haul you out.  If there is anyone actually at the fire house to notice you dying. That can be a gamble, but to each his own.  You can’t use the farmer’s fields. They get grumpy and pull out their shot guns. I’ve seen it happen. Farmers are terrifying people. The only unclaimed, semi-safe hill is in the town cemetery. (more…)